The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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PN says Ian Borg must be sacked after pool declared illegal

Saturday, 18 March 2023, 13:23 Last update: about 10 months ago

Foreign Minister Ian Borg should resign and, if he fails to do so, be sacked by the government after a court ruled, again, that the decision to allow him to build a pool was illegal, the Nationalist Party said.

Opposition MPs Mark Anthony Sammut and Stanley Zammit told journalists in front of the Foreign Ministry that the Planning Authority must now take decisive action to enforce the court's decision. 


An appeals court presided by Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti on Wednesday ruled that the Planning Authority should not have granted a permit to Borg and his wife Rachelle Borg Dingli a permit to build a pool and ancillary facilities at their home in the hamlet of Santa Katerina in Rabat.

The Nationalist Party on Thursday said that Borg should resign, but both he and Prime Minister Robert Abela are yet to pronounce themselves. 

Sammut said that the courts and the ombudsman had deemed to permit to be irregular and that Borg had come to acquire the land at below-market price through "deceptive" means. The PA, he added, had also gone against its own policies in order to grant the minister the permit. 

"In a normal country, a minister would resign before he even begins to defend himself in court but not only did Ian Borg fail to do this, he arrogantly continued to carry out work on the site despite the pending court action and in fact, those works have been finished." 

If Borg does not resign, then the prime minister should sack him, Sammut said.

Zammit said the site in question had previously already been subject to a similar planning application that had been refused prior to the land being acquired by Borg. 

However, after the plot changed hands and was taken over by Borg, the same case officer who had recommended the first permit for refusal ignored key policies and gave it a favourable recommendation for approval. 

"The PA had both policies and a history that showed that this permit should not have been issued, but it chose to give out different verdicts about the same case," Zammit said. 

He said that this is "another certificate of bad governance" and a symptom of a culture of impunity and lack of accountability that the Labour Party in government has fostered.

Zammit said that the PA must now take concrete steps to enforce the court's decision in view of the fact that the structures on the site have already been built.


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